Rick Boost
Aug 6, 2018

Taiwan's top 100 brands for 2018

What Taiwan consumers want: Coffee, noodles, on-demand taxis and convenient online shopping.

Taiwan's top 100 brands for 2018

This look at Taiwan's top 100 brands is part of Campaign Asia-Pacific's Asia's Top 1000 Brands report. For more on the status of Taiwan brands according to our research, see the full Taiwan market report.

Unlike other regions, the Taiwan market hasn’t so much been shaken up, as given a light vibration, with relatively minor shifts in brand perception across the board. However, a few outliers stand out in the top 100 brands, several of which reflect Taiwan’s strengthened embrace of electronic shopping tech.

Taiwan's Top 10 Brands
  2017 2018
1 Apple Apple
2 Sony Sony
3 Chanel Panasonic
4 Panasonic Chanel
5 Hitachi Hitachi
6 Nike Meiji
7 Nestle Starbucks
8 Samsung Samsung
9 Meiji Uni-President
10 Adidas Google

Beginning with a rundown of the top 10, rankings are steady as a rock for the upper half. Highly in demand electronics brands Apple and Sony unsurprisingly hold onto the first and second spots. Following that, third and fourth place brands from last year, Panasonic and Chanel respectively, have switched places. Meanwhile Hitachi has stayed put at fifth.

It’s in the latter section of the top 10 that things get messy. Nike (last year’s number six) has dropped five places to fall off the list to land at 11. Considering the extreme popularity of basketball and its associated brands in Taiwan, this fall was highly unexpected. As was the toppling of fellow sports brand Adidas, dropping from 10 to 13.

Taking the number six slot Nike has vacated is food company Meiji. Up three places, the dairy specialist has likely been given a boost from the baby milk turf war raging across SEA. One such brand that hasn’t weathered this scuffle quite as well is Nestle, who dropped out the top 10 from seventh place, all the way to 14.

Starbucks enters the list at seven, moving up five places from 12. While the red-eyed march of caffeine culture has led to many regional competitors, the coffeeshop giant has left local rivals in the dust. As a comparison, 85°C, touted as the “Starbucks of Taiwan”, and a global brand in its own right with over 1,000 branches is barely holding on to a 95th place ranking at home.

Intermission: Samsung stays comfy in eighth place. Not a shock.

Uni-President takes the ninth spot, riding up two places into the top 10. A small bump, it’s a reasonable bet that this a reaction to the company’s release of an instant hotpot product range earlier in the year and collaborations to sell them with online retailers like TMall. But frankly, as a company Uni-President can feel extra smug due to a July 2017 deal giving it full control of Starbucks in Taiwan, effectively giving the company two appearances on the leaderboard.

The biggest surprise the top 10 comes at the end though, as Google leaps 8 places up into 10th place.  The brand has been working hard to make its presence better felt in Asia, and in Taiwan this is no exception, as the company not only launched the region’s Android Pay system but also made major expansions to Taiwan’s Google maps transit coverage. We’re also pretty certain that the partial purchase of local mobile maker HTC (and the promised collaboration following that) in January 2018 will result in even greater exposure and a further level boost next year.

55688 Taiwan Taxi: A local brand presenting a challenge to Uber

Looking at the wider top 100 brands in Taiwan, there are, as mentioned, only a few items of note.

An absolute bolt from the blue has been local taxi service 55688 Taiwan Taxi, which rocketed up an astounding 369 ranks. Ranked 403rd place in 2017, the transportation/delivery brand now sits at 34.

This incredible change is likely related to the poor fortunes of Uber. As that company gained a great deal of negative press and service changes, Taiwan Taxi has seemed a more appealing local alternative. In February 2017, a court ruling resulted in Uber paying a much publicised $10 million fine, having its service suspended for two months, and a new restriction preventing the company from using private drivers. Over the year, the effects of that are probably just kicking in. At 28th place (dropping 3 places this year) Uber may still outrank Taiwan Taxi, but not by much.

Kudos must go to SK-II who’s movement up 20 from 87 to 67 can definitely be attributed to some extremely effective marketing tactics. The continuation of the makeup brand’s influencer reality series, Beauty Bound, has been a distinct breath of fresh content air. Furthermore, a partnership with Unruly Media and access to the Unruly EQ emotional analytics tool for a year has most likely given the brand insights into better targeting Asian audiences with media.

Amazon’s largest market outside the U.S is based around mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. That isn’t changing as Amazon halved the distance between it and the top brands, moving 43 spots up, from 91 to 48. Fish swim, birds fly, birds fly, and people like buying things online. The nearest rival, Taobao, isn’t even in the top 100 (it’s at 165) and lost ranks (22) this year, so Amazon can feel quite secure as the current face of click sales in Taiwan.

Is it a reflection of mobile games taking over or a mass consumer return to the PC as a legitimate platform? In either case, console gaming took a painful hit this year. Nintendo Wii dropped 47 places (from 42 to 89) and that sadly makes it the most fortunate. Sony Playstation is out the top 100, plummeting 65 places (from 47 to 112).

And if you’re wondering, that’s still more fortunate than Microsoft XBox, which began outside at 125 and still managed to hurtle 151 spots down to 276th place. Ouch. 

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